LOMBARD – One aspect of summer baseball is the learning and development part of future varsity players.
The other aspect is that summer is prime recruiting season.
Two Glenbard East seniors, Tyler Behrendt and Jimmy MacDonald, are chasing the college dream. The recruiting process can be stressful, but has so far been exciting for the pair.
“It’s exciting, but then also you’re like, ‘this is business,’ too,” said Behrendt, who has already received interest from small local schools via emails.
“You have to work and it’s not just, ‘you get a free ride.’ Not everyone gets this opportunity.”
“It can be stressful if you let it be, but if you just take it as ‘people actually want me,’ you can relax and it’s fun,” MacDonald said.
Behrendt started on the mound in the Rams’ opener of the Phil Lawler Summer State Classic Tournament on Monday before the game was suspended due to rain. He has emerged as the team’s ace in the summer and will probably take that role into the spring.
Behrendt made just one pitching appearance during the spring, but became a regular in the lineup and totaled 89 at-bats. In the summer he hit over .400 and was among the key hitters in the lineup, along with juniors John Allen and Justin Griffin.
“(Summer) is a little different, but we still get together every day and get to play,” Behrendt said. “Just playing together will help improve next year and building friendships and family. Unity will help in the spring.”
MacDonald and fellow senior Anthony Esterly also were top pitchers during the summer.
Behrendt and MacDonald were on travel teams with the hope of catching the eye of a potential future college coach. Behrendt has traveled out of state three times this summer with one more trip planned with the Lombard Lightning while MacDonald had one out-of-state trip with the Lombard Sliders.
The Rams won’t feature as many seniors next season as they did in the spring. Behrendt brings the most experience back, while a mix of inexperienced seniors and varsity newcomers will be forced to step in.
“No position is locked up,” said East coach Joel Pelland. “Guys can outwork other guys and come in and earn a spot next year so it’s pretty open. I’m excited about that, to see what kind of work these guys are going to do in the offseason to improve themselves.”